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US guard Kobe Bryant (L) chats with US centre Anthony Davis (R) during the men's preliminary round basketball match USA vs Nigeria of the London 2012 Olympic Games on August 2, 2012 at the basketball arena in London. USA won 156 - 73. AFP PHOTO / MARK RALSTON (Photo credit should read MARK RALSTON/AFP/GettyImages)
Team USA's 156-73 thumping of Nigeria Thursday has reopened the debate about whether LeBron James, Kobe Bryant and the rest of the star-studded squad are simply too good to play in the Olympics.
The 83-point margin of victory and Carmelo Anthony's 37 points were greater even than anything the original Dream Team, including Michael Jordan and Magic Johnson, managed back in 1992 (a point contentious with Jordan even before the Games began).
Spokesman Mark Adams says the IOC does not think the incredible margin is damaging to the spirit of the games.
"There may be some games where some teams do miles better than others," Adams says, "but that doesn't mean there's not a good, decent level of competition and representation. And our job at the IOC is to balance those two things."
The team was supposed to include Chicago's Derrick Rose, who tore his ACL during Game 1 of this year's playoffs. Chicago's Anthony Davis was added to the team after Los Angeles Clippers superstar Blake Griffin suffered a knee injury.